This week read about a church in Brazil criticized for hosting a mass dedicated to the LGBT community, and a New Zealand lawmaker apologizing for voting against gay marriage after his son comes out.

Traditionalists Criticize Mass Dedicated to LGBT Community in Brazil

In Brazil, a Mass in commemoration of LGBT community members who were murdered has sparked debate.

According to Crux, traditionalists attacked the event as a political gesture against the church's teachings, while LGBT Catholic organizations lauded it as a show of solidarity for their cause.

The Archbishop of Salvador, Cardinal Sérgio da Rocha, performed the Mass on May 21, after two local LGBT rights groups, the Center for Advocacy and Defense of LGBT Rights in Bahia State and the Beneficent Institution Conceição Macedo, had requested it.

“We saw it as a gesture of love and greeting from the Church. A lot of LGBT people believe in Christ and love the Catholic Church. A bridge has been built,” Barbosa told Crux.

- Written by Everitt Rosen

 

New Zealand Lawmaker Apologizes For Vote Against Gay Marriage After His Son Comes Out

Lawmaker

Retiring politician Nick Smith. Photo via Facebook.

On June 10, Nick Smith, a New Zealand politician, reflected on his 30-year political career during his retirement speech. He was a member of the center-right National Party and was the longest-serving Member of Parliament. 

In 2013, Smith was one of the 44 parliamentarians who voted against the legislative change to legalize gay marriage. The change ultimately passed with 77 votes from MPs who voted in favor.

“I was wrong,” Smith said. “I made a commitment to my son that before I left Parliament I would apologize and set the record straight.”

His son, Logan, came out three years ago and told outlets that his father has been very supportive and changed the views that he had back in 2013.

“I'm really proud of him. I think it's just important to demonstrate people can learn and their views can change," said Logan.

Smith said he is happy to see the growing diversity within Parliament and says that in his 30-year career, he has watched the political realm become a healthier place with a variety of leaders.

- Written by Kennedy McKinney

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